Kernza's® dense root system grows up to 10 feet down into the Earth, allowing it to react to changes in temperature and soil quickly. Unlike annual wheat, that doesn't live long enough to develop thick roots, Kernza® is a perennial grain whose long roots allow it to hold soil in place and prevent erosion.

Why Beer?

Farmer Jim Richardson holding up Kernza root

Well, for starters, we’ve been known to enjoy a good brew from time to time. But beyond that, our sourcing experience—starting way back in 1996 when we switched to organic cotton and continuing through our research for Provisions foods—has taught us a thing or two about farming. And beer, made from grain and hops, is an agricultural product, after all.

We believe the future of farming—not to mention our planet—lies in something called organic regenerative agriculture. Organic regenerative agriculture restores soil biodiversity, sequesters carbon, and efficiently grows crops without chemical fertilizers or pesticides. Researchers at the Rodale Institute have found that a switch to organic regenerative techniques could actually sequester enough carbon to reverse global climate change. Our friends at the Land Institute, in Salina, Kansas, have made a major breakthrough in that direction with a perennial grain called Kernza®.

Kernza is ideally suited for organic regenerative agriculture. Its long roots and perennial growth allow it to thrive without tilling or pesticides; it uses less water than conventional wheat, prevents erosion and removes more carbon from the atmosphere than annual grains. And it just so happens to make delicious beer.

So we’ve teamed up with Hopworks Urban Brewery in Portland, Oregon, to create Long Root Ale. This tasty pale ale is made with organic two-row barley, organic yeast, organic Chinook, Mosaic and Crystal hops, and Kernza. It’s also the first commercial use of Kernza, and we believe, a strong step toward changing the way we grow and produce food. Or, in this case, beer. Cheers!